ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

New Guy

Updated on May 25, 2022


Vince and I were deep in discussion when the new legal officer arrived.

Since the death of Mr. Beltzer, fifteen years ago, we hadn’t had a real lawyer. We had used Mrs. Cummings, who had been Beltzer’s para-legal until her retirement. Then, her understudy, Billy Frank, whom many of us liked. Although without formal training, he was good at what he did.

He could reason so well that many lawsuits were dropped or settled for far less than expected. In those few cases where the dispute became a lawsuit, we hired an attorney on a one off. Cheaper for us that having a full time lawyer on staff, and wiser, in that we could match the case to the best lawyer in the circumstances.

There had never been a problem.

People who recalled Beltzer would say that Billy was doing a great job. Yet, suddenly, the Directors decided to spend money and hire a real lawyer full time.



The Directors, paying no attention to the staff, went through the time consuming and expensive process of taking applications.

They went over resumes. They shortlisted. They set up interviews. They went on to a second tier cutting thirty potentials to five. Then they selected Joseph Cox.

I hadn’t much expectation.

During the years I'd worked for the Company I had found most decisions made by this Board disasters. They seemed to know nothing about the business, about interpersonal relationships, or what was needed.


Billy Frank would probably have been a real lawyer if he wasn’t constantly stepped on by his uncle Alvin. Alvin was on the Board of Directors and never liked Billy. I don't have the hot gossip, I just know Alvin despised Billy.

Alvin would find tasks for Billy to do, which would cause a delay in completing the ‘legal work’ . Every delay was expensive.

On some occasions, it meant the problem would become so infected that it had to be sent to a lawyer who would charge heavily for his services when Billy could have solved it over lunch.

We all noticed this, didn't say anything, because there was no one to talk to.

My View (Off the Record)

In my view, we didn't need the expense of an in-house lawyer as we didn't have more than two dozen 'threats' in a year. Some fell apart after the first reading. A few needed a meeting to settle.

Billy had settled most of them. Hence only three or four matters required litigation. The verdict was often in our favour.

To hire a lawyer, full time, to deal with these few cases was close to giving him or her an all expense paid vacation, for there was very little to do.

However, the Board decided to waste money and hire 'in house' counsel.

The Entrance

On this particular day, at this particular time I was talking to Vince, who was the security manager, when Cox entered.

“That’s the new lawyer...” Vince said. I turned to view the stranger as Vince continued; “Let’s introduce ourselves.”

We walked the ten steps and; “Hi, I’m Vincent Purdue,” and he did a handshake, “This is Molly Fine,” and I put out my hand. Cox touched it a nanosecond, then seeing three typists enter, ran to introduce himself to them.

Well, this was queer.

Vince and I met eyes, shrugged, went back to where we were sitting, and continued our discussion. A little later at the meeting in which he would be formally introduced to the staff I found Cox totally uninspiring and much of what he said was in contradiction to our practices.

Later, by the coffee urn, I admitted I didn’t like him. Everyone jumped on that and I was told to 'give him a chance’ and other such remarks, which I have learned to hear, nod, ignore.

When I say I don’t like someone I will eventually have proof as to why, and so will everyone else.


Cox started being Mr. Friendly. He spoke to every member of staff as if he were interested in what we had to say. I could see he was only looking to 'slot’ us.

I think he was surprised at my high status, but didn't mention the slight he had paid me.

I listened to him with half an ear but picked up that he saw Billy as a threat. This is because for the past years Billy had done really well. Very few of his decisions needed to be questioned.

Cox tried to get me to criticize Billy but I played disinterested and distracted, so he said more than he ought have.

I realised Cox wanted to be the centre of the universe. I watched him attempt to turn people against Billy. This made people want to defend Billy. .

Cox ran behind Alvin trying to please him as if Alvin was the only director. Stan and Mark only caught his eye when Alvin went away for two weeks. When Alvin returned, Cox was back playing tail to the dog.

No one liked Alvin. He wasn’t all that competent and very much, a legend in his own mind.

Alvin was on the Board because his father had appointed him twenty years ago. Alvin's father was long dead, but Alvin was still bobbling around, acting as if he were the President of the Company.

So there's Cox befriending the most disliked and unpopular Director.

As Time Went By

Cox made a lot of mistakes he needn’t have. If he’d relied more on Billy... but Billy, having been kicked aside like rubbish wasn't going to make Cox look good.

Billy went on vacation during the busiest time for legal disputes, leaving Cox to make a hash of it.

Numerous members of staff were passing Anti-Cox remarks at the coffee urn. I smiled smugly, but didn't say a word. I was going to sit back and enjoy the show.

There were lawsuits, there were complaints, internal and external. When I was informed I made one of those sighs instead of saying; "I told you so."

Anyway, the business fumbled on as it could and it came time for the Directors to decide whether or not they wanted to keep Cox.

No one, not even Alvin was impressed with him. Cox was told that he would not be appointed. At this Cox went around saying ‘Goodbye’ to people who were unmoved.

He got around to me late in the day.

“Gonna miss you guys,” he said.

I looked at him in astonishment. I think for maybe a quarter of a second he might have been aware of his own phoniness but I didn’t stick find out. I couldn't squelch my laughter as I went down the hall.

Can't Fix It

With Cox gone, people began to discuss Billy. They wanted to give him back his old position. Some talked about sending him for 'para-legal' courses.

But Billy, offered the post he'd filled for so long, declined.

He babbled about time with his family, large work load, etc. But everyone knew he had been devastated by his being supplanted.

Vince and I went over the situation, aware how the appointment of Cox had hurt and demotivated Billy to the extent he would turn down promotions, higher pay, whatever was offered.

Sure, it was childish, but some insults can't be erased. And this was one of them.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)